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Fall Newsletter – CEO Welcome

Dear friends, 
 
With kids back in school and fall schedules taking shape, I hope you are settling into a routine that allows time for your (and your family’s) personal well-being. Whether it’s participating in a program or a class, exercising at home, or going for a walk in your neighborhood… making time for yourself is critical not only to your physical well-being, but also to your mental health. 
 
October 10th is world Mental Health Day, a day meant to raise awareness of mental health issues and inform individuals about the importance of taking care of their own well-being. Physical and mental health are closely aligned, and having a regular health and wellness routine can substantially improve your overall mental well-being. Nearly half of all people in the United States will be diagnosed with a mental health disorder throughout the course of their lifetime, with the most common being anxiety disorders. The COVID pandemic has further exacerbated the mental health crisis. What many may not know is just how important physical activity is to an individual’s mental health.  In fact, exercise improves mental health by reducing anxiety, depression, and negative moods. It also improves self-esteem and cognitive function. Exercise has also been found to alleviate symptoms such as low self-esteem and social withdrawal. 
 
Even a small amount of physical activity can quickly reduce anxiety symptoms in many adults and the results can often be instant. According to the CDC, some benefits of physical activity on brain health happen right after a session of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity. These benefits include improved thinking or cognition for children 4 to 13 years of age and reduced short-term feelings of anxiety for adults. Regular physical activity can help keep your thinking, learning, and judgment skills sharp as you age. It can also reduce your risk of depression and anxiety and help you sleep better. No matter what your life stage is, developing and maintaining a healthy active routine can help to keep your mind and body in a good state of well-being. 
 
The Anaheim Family YMCA was founded in 1911, and even back then our motto was Spirit, Mind and Body. We have long realized the value that physical activity brings to a person’s overall well-being. As a matter of fact, the first Ys were focused on providing social, emotional, and spiritual support… providing the comforts of a “home away from home” when individuals needed a place to connect and belong. However, even 112 years ago, the Y saw how vital physical health was when it came to enhancing the total health of our community. 
 
Thank you for your continued support of the Anaheim Family YMCA, and allowing us to further our commitment to strengthening communities by supporting not only the physical but emotional needs of our community members. I hope you take the time to invest in your overall well-being, especially your mental health. Visit our YMCA Community Complex to see how we can help you on your journey. 
 
In Well-being,  
 
Brent Finlay  
President & CEO 

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